10 Books all for $.99 Each!

fall in love sale

Each one of the great novels showcased in the sale is from an independent author and features romance from a tidbit to a whole dollop. So go ahead, fall in love with reading this fall by picking up any of these titles from October 1-7th.

Love Exactly by Cassandra Giovanni

Love ExactlyEmma Walker was a writer who’d lost herself to someone else’s anger–who had given up on ever feeling like herself again.
Evan Levesque was a rock-god–the one all the woman wanted, but he’d never gotten used to the loneliness between the stage and real life.
With just one cup of coffee they’ll begin a journey of self-discovery at each others sides, but can Emma handle Evan’s fame while dealing with her own demons? Emma’s checkered personal past, a bad relationship that haunts the edges of her memories, threatens to make everything implode on them when Evan takes matters into his own hands.
Sticks and stones may break my bones, but your words…they’ll destroy my soul–Can Emma handle being put back together and facing who she’s become because of it?

Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble ~ Kobo

Casted by Sonya Loveday

CastedJade had spent the majority of her life running from the Triad. The Triad, are a powerful group, who would stop at nothing to obtain Jade and the missing spell book for leader, Lorenzo’s, nefarious plans. And now that she has absorbed the highly coveted magic contained inside the missing book, there is nowhere left for her to hide.
With the help of her friends, Jade steps out from the shadows and learns how to fight back. But no one is prepared for Elinor-the woman bound inside of the book that’s trapped in Jade’s mind. Now she not only needs to protect herself from the Triad, but from what’s hiding inside her mind as well.
Jade never expected the answer to it all would revolve around love.
Edge is dark, mysterious, and a sworn member of the Triad. He also hides a secret past that threatens the thin line he walks between good and evil. Lives are at stake when Jade and Edge’s two worlds collide. Can Jade learn to trust him when he says he is her pre-ordained and vows to do everything he can to protect her? But more importantly, can she trust herself and the woman in her mind?

Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble

 Waterfalls Down by Danielle Rohr

Water Falls DownWhat have they done to me here, to cause me to be unable to see beyond my cage?

Three teenagers committed and locked away in a mental institution act on impulse, and manage to escape. Without a plan, money, ore even identification Lynn, Chelsea, and Garret must find their way in a very big, and very predatory world. After a great deal of travel and agony, they find paradise in the form of Yosemite National Park. Battling the elements of nature, as well as mental illness leaves these three broken, and defeated. Will they find the solution that can save them, or will they fight against the current until they grow weak, and become just another statistic?

Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble

Mere Enchantment by Alicia Rivoli

Mere EnchantmentA World Like No Other…

When a newly formed group of friends finds themselves fighting for survival, little did they know that was just the beginning.

When Chloe, Megan, Jason and Zach are forced to take cover in a nearby cave from a violent storm they find their new friend Preston there as well. Zach guides the group through the cave but as they go deeper strange things begin to happen and they find themselves separated in a magical kingdom surrounded by unusual people and wizards. Things get even more dangerous as they travel the kingdom in search of the city of Mere and each other.

As their journey unfolds, Preston discovers that the bedtime stories he was told as a child are true and that his rightful place in time must be realized. The kingdom itself has gone under attack as Jacan, a traitor to the crown, forces his armies through the magical borders.

Looking back Preston should have recognized that it was all real. He should have seen the signs. But how could he have known? After all, Jacan was just a villain in a story that took place in a far off mystical land. How could he have imagined that the stories that his father told him as a child were true?

How could any of them have known that their destinies were already written, and that to discover who they really are would take courage that they never realized they had?

Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble ~ Smashwords

American Girl on Saturn By Nikki Godwin

American Girl on SaturnThe summer after graduation is supposed to be that first real taste of freedom – but not for eighteen-year-old Chloe Branson. Just as that breeze of freedom is making its way into her galaxy, her secret-service-agent dad drops a meteor-sized bomb of bad news on her and her sisters. An attempt has been made on the lives of Canadian boyband, Spaceships Around Saturn, during their USA tour, and the guys have to go into hiding ASAP. The only problem? In the midst of the crisis and media frenzy, their dad volunteered to hide the guys…in their house.

Six-year-old Emery is as ecstatic as any self-proclaimed Saturnite would be, but Chloe and her seventeen-year-old sister Aralie watch their summer plans crash and burn like a falling star. The SAS guys aren’t happy with the situation, either. Bad boy Jules picks fights with Aralie about everything from his Twitter followers to his laundry, and heart-throb Benji can’t escape Emery’s fangirlisms for more than three minutes.

But after the super-cute Milo kisses Chloe during a game of hide-and-seek, she finally understands what Emery means when she talks about SAS being “out of this world.” If this is what Saturn feels like, Chloe doesn’t want to come back to Earth.

Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble ~ Smashwords

First I Love You by Genevieve Dewey

First I Love YouOne part Godfather, two parts Emma and a dash of Casablanca mixed together, “First, I Love You” isn’t a detective novel, a gangster novel, a mystery, a romance or a family saga. It’s a little of all of the above.

Imagine being a detective with a mobster for a father, or a mobster with a straight arrow, good cop for a son. This is a relationship that is tricky on its best day. Add in some well-meaning meddling from a mob princess sister, an arrogant DEA agent, and gangsters running a human trafficking ring and you have a recipe for a book that refuses to follow the rules. Told from the perspective and point of view of each the six main characters this is the first novel in a trilogy about love, loyalty, revenge and redemption.

Omaha Detective Tommy Gates has kept his gangster father at arm’s length his whole life. Mickey Downey has spent the better part of the last two decades trying to find ways to get back the son he lost through Witness Protection. Now Tommy has taken an opportunity to work on a Federal Human Trafficking Joint Task Force in Chicago where his father lives. Tommy’s sister Kiki and his mother Mary see this as an opportunity to build a relationship between the two. Tommy’s new DEA partner James Hoffman sees it as an opportunity to gain leverage over Mickey Downey. Tommy’s other partner, FBI Agent Ginny Sommers wants to keep Tommy’s family as far from the case as possible. When Kiki and James join forces, sparks fly and it sets fire to a maelstrom of unexpected consequences for everyone involved.

Amazon

A Construct of Angels by Andrew Toynbee

A Construct of AngelsAfter accidentally triggering the spontaneous resurrection of a dead student, an ordinarily routine day for York-based paramedic Sara Finn erupts into a series of events that propel her on a terrifying journey, promising to forever change her pragmatic opinions of life and death.

Still haunted by her domineering and abusive stepfather and driven by a life-long search for her missing younger brother, Sara finds herself caught in the crossfire between warring forces, powerful beyond human comprehension, that threaten to plunge civilisation into hellish chaos and eternal darkness.

This, the first in the ‘Angels of York’ series, follows Sara’s increasingly dangerous adventures during the six days that lead up to the September Equinox, a time of increasing darkness. As the population of York is plunged into panic, overwhelming the emergency services, Sara finds her loyalties torn between her newfound companion, now incarcerated within York’s largest mental institution, and her sworn medical duties.

Should she lend any credence to his insistence that his purpose on Earth is to prevent an imminent catastrophe? Or that it is being orchestrated from within the city itself?

As her nights are filled with terrifying dreams and she is once again confronted by the memories of her abusive childhood, Sara is forced to accept that only one avenue remains open to her – to put her own life to one side in order to help prevent the rapidly approaching doomsday.

Amazon ~ Amazon UK

Deer in the Headlights by Staci Hart

Deer in the Headlights

Sweary, Sexy 18+ Romance

How do the Greek gods kill time? Because they’re always bored. It’s an unavoidable downside of being alive for thousands of years. So, they play games. Games with human players. Remember Shakespeare? Yeah, that was Apollo. Bonnie and Clyde? Aphrodite vs Ares.

It’s Aphrodite’s turn once again in the rounds of competitions, and she’ll defend her domain: Love. She hasn’t lost a competition on her turf in over three millennia, and she’s not about to start now. Apollo is her first competitor, and he’s on a mission to win. If he wins, he’ll get a token; a favor that Aphrodite must fulfill. And with that favor, he’ll finally get the one woman he’s never been able to have.

Aphrodite and Apollo will choose their human players, and if Aphrodite can’t get them together before the clock runs out, Apollo will get his way. And she couldn’t have that.

Lex and Dean are perfect for each other. They just don’t know it yet.

Dean is a perpetual bachelor, and a man-whore. A brooding, gorgeous, rock star man-whore. Lex always has a boyfriend, but she’s never let anyone in enough to let herself go. Not really. Not ever. Aphrodite has her work cut out for her, but if she can’t make it work, no one can.

But she has more at stake than just Lex and Dean. Apollo killed her mortal love, and that beef has been dragging on for thousands of years. Ares, the douchebag, is forever trying to start a fight, and get Aphrodite into bed. And Persephone, her best friend, is the one person she can confide in, laugh with, and always count on for a healthy helping of bacon when she’s having a bad day.

Follow the gods as they fight, laugh, cry, lose love, and gain power. Making a mess with humans has never been so fun.

 Snake in the Grass by Staci Hart

Snake in the GrassIt’s Round Two of high stakes Love Connection on Olympus, and this time, everything has changed. For Aphrodite, at least.

Ares is on deck, and Aphrodite is nervous. As much as she loves to hook up with him, she doesn’t trust him as far as she could throw him, which isn’t very far. He’s a big dude. They haven’t been together in a very long time, but she can’t resist him. She never could. Even when every part of her screamed that he was a liar.

Ares has a plan to keep Aphrodite, for good this time. He wants to win the game, but he’ll hold back to get what he wants. He’s sitting on a chance that he’s been waiting thousands of years for, and he’ll do what he has to do to convince her to stay forever.

The only thing that could stop him is the secret that he’s been keeping from her for eons. If she finds out, it will destroy everything.

Kat and Dillon have been through a lot, and everything has been to protect their younger siblings. They have sacrificed everything to make sure their brother and sister are safe. The players are tough and loyal. Fierce and determined. But they become each other’s weakness, even though they fight it, and even though it means danger for Kat and her sister.

If Aphrodite can get the players over their egos and issues long enough to see that they’re meant for each other, the competition will be a piece of cake. One that she’ll eat a la mode, right in front of Ares, if she beats him.

Amazon ~ Smashwords

 What the Heart Wants by Staci Hart

What the Heart WantsIt’s 1984, and Tanaka Katsu is paving his way in the Yakuza. His marriage to Yuki was a business deal, and one that he has paid for with his happiness.

Aphrodite can’t stand that he’s so miserable, and Hera, the goddess of marriage and monogamy, has a strong hold on Yuki, who will do whatever it takes to get what she believes is hers. Aphrodite won’t sit by and watch Katsu’s life slip away with no chance at love, so when he takes a trip to Vegas, she’ll introduce him to his match.

Kim never thought she’d be in the situation like the one that’s coming her way, but what the heart wants is a powerful thing, and one that’s impossible to walk away from.

Amazon ~ Smashwords

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Sales Saturday: Go Team!

As an Indie author marketing can be hard, and no matter what you do it can feel like you are working against an impenetrable wall of thousands of other Indie books, some of which, where put out there by people who just decided to hit the magical “publish” button. It’s frustrating to see a book you’ve read and know is riddled with errors surpass yours. Even more frustrating to watch some of the things that hit the shelves by major publishers. I know that sounds arrogant, but there’s a little green eyed monster inside of us all, isn’t there? The thing to NOT do is sit there and just think about those “ideas” you have in your head. The thing TO do is to keep pushing forward and think of more things to do to put your novel out there. Keep emailing bloggers, Facebookers, and tweeters, most of all keep writing and formulating bigger and better marketing plans. A marketing plan is the key to a proper roll-out of a novel, and while it will never guarantee you become the next Jessica Sorenson, Colleen Hoover or Jennifer Armentrout, it puts you ahead of the game because it allows you to measure what you’ve done and what you can do better. For more about marketing plans click any of these articles:

Marketing Plan: Part 1

Marketing Plan: Part 2

Marketing Plan: Part 3

Marketing plans can evolve, and very often times do, due to the element of “measuring failures and successes”. As I looked at falling numbers of sales for Love Exactly I realized that I needed to find a unique way to increase numbers on a novel when it was reaching the end of it’s cycle. (We’ll talk about the book life cycle another time). I currently run an independent author support group on Goodreads called the FBI (Fabulous, Bold, Indies), and after interacting with many other authors that are also struggling in the Indie world I took a step back and looked at the group and it’s reasoning.

I began the support group because of the slush of author groups that I’d seen that were only a means of promoting one’s novel. This is great–we need that, but we also need other support–somewhere we can talk about the difficulties of marketing, writing, editing and the publishing world.

Then I thought–why not utilize both of these things to test the theory of “The Power of the Team”. I’ve been a supervisor for some six plus years (which doesn’t sound impressive, I know, but I’m also only 24), and I know the power of working as a team–and the effects of a floundering team. As authors we are independent vehicles; every single one of us is working against the other–pushing, shoving and sometimes kicking, one another aside to get a piece of the “sales” pie. I stepped back and looked at my sales career. At my day job I’ve had to be a strong team player, but I was also a strong independent seller. I’ve learned through my career that both of those things CAN indeed go together. So, why can’t they go together in the publishing world? I think they can, and to prove that I’ve teamed up with a handful of other great (struggling) authors to put on a “Fall in Love with Reading $.99 Sale”. Each one of the great novels showcased is from an independent author and features romance from a tidbit to a whole dollop, so go ahead, fall in love with reading this fall by picking up any of these titles from October 1-7th.

fall in love saleLove Exactly by Cassandra Giovanni

Love ExactlyEmma Walker was a writer who’d lost herself to someone else’s anger–who had given up on ever feeling like herself again.
Evan Levesque was a rock-god–the one all the woman wanted, but he’d never gotten used to the loneliness between the stage and real life.
With just one cup of coffee they’ll begin a journey of self-discovery at each others sides, but can Emma handle Evan’s fame while dealing with her own demons? Emma’s checkered personal past, a bad relationship that haunts the edges of her memories, threatens to make everything implode on them when Evan takes matters into his own hands.
Sticks and stones may break my bones, but your words…they’ll destroy my soul–Can Emma handle being put back together and facing who she’s become because of it?

 

Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble ~ Kobo

Casted by Sonya Loveday

CastedJade had spent the majority of her life running from the Triad. The Triad, are a powerful group, who would stop at nothing to obtain Jade and the missing spell book for leader, Lorenzo’s, nefarious plans. And now that she has absorbed the highly coveted magic contained inside the missing book, there is nowhere left for her to hide.
With the help of her friends, Jade steps out from the shadows and learns how to fight back. But no one is prepared for Elinor-the woman bound inside of the book that’s trapped in Jade’s mind. Now she not only needs to protect herself from the Triad, but from what’s hiding inside her mind as well.
Jade never expected the answer to it all would revolve around love.
Edge is dark, mysterious, and a sworn member of the Triad. He also hides a secret past that threatens the thin line he walks between good and evil. Lives are at stake when Jade and Edge’s two worlds collide. Can Jade learn to trust him when he says he is her pre-ordained and vows to do everything he can to protect her? But more importantly, can she trust herself and the woman in her mind?

Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble

 Waterfalls Down by Danielle Rohr

Water Falls DownWhat have they done to me here, to cause me to be unable to see beyond my cage?

Three teenagers committed and locked away in a mental institution act on impulse, and manage to escape. Without a plan, money, ore even identification Lynn, Chelsea, and Garret must find their way in a very big, and very predatory world. After a great deal of travel and agony, they find paradise in the form of Yosemite National Park. Battling the elements of nature, as well as mental illness leaves these three broken, and defeated. Will they find the solution that can save them, or will they fight against the current until they grow weak, and become just another statistic?

Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble

Mere Enchantment by Alicia Rivoli

Mere EnchantmentA World Like No Other…

When a newly formed group of friends finds themselves fighting for survival, little did they know that was just the beginning.

When Chloe, Megan, Jason and Zach are forced to take cover in a nearby cave from a violent storm they find their new friend Preston there as well. Zach guides the group through the cave but as they go deeper strange things begin to happen and they find themselves separated in a magical kingdom surrounded by unusual people and wizards. Things get even more dangerous as they travel the kingdom in search of the city of Mere and each other.

As their journey unfolds, Preston discovers that the bedtime stories he was told as a child are true and that his rightful place in time must be realized. The kingdom itself has gone under attack as Jacan, a traitor to the crown, forces his armies through the magical borders.

Looking back Preston should have recognized that it was all real. He should have seen the signs. But how could he have known? After all, Jacan was just a villain in a story that took place in a far off mystical land. How could he have imagined that the stories that his father told him as a child were true?

How could any of them have known that their destinies were already written, and that to discover who they really are would take courage that they never realized they had?

Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble ~ Smashwords

American Girl on Saturn By Nikki Godwin

American Girl on SaturnThe summer after graduation is supposed to be that first real taste of freedom – but not for eighteen-year-old Chloe Branson. Just as that breeze of freedom is making its way into her galaxy, her secret-service-agent dad drops a meteor-sized bomb of bad news on her and her sisters. An attempt has been made on the lives of Canadian boyband, Spaceships Around Saturn, during their USA tour, and the guys have to go into hiding ASAP. The only problem? In the midst of the crisis and media frenzy, their dad volunteered to hide the guys…in their house.

Six-year-old Emery is as ecstatic as any self-proclaimed Saturnite would be, but Chloe and her seventeen-year-old sister Aralie watch their summer plans crash and burn like a falling star. The SAS guys aren’t happy with the situation, either. Bad boy Jules picks fights with Aralie about everything from his Twitter followers to his laundry, and heart-throb Benji can’t escape Emery’s fangirlisms for more than three minutes.

But after the super-cute Milo kisses Chloe during a game of hide-and-seek, she finally understands what Emery means when she talks about SAS being “out of this world.” If this is what Saturn feels like, Chloe doesn’t want to come back to Earth.

Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble ~ Smashwords

First I Love You by Genevieve Dewey

First I Love YouOne part Godfather, two parts Emma and a dash of Casablanca mixed together, “First, I Love You” isn’t a detective novel, a gangster novel, a mystery, a romance or a family saga. It’s a little of all of the above.

Imagine being a detective with a mobster for a father, or a mobster with a straight arrow, good cop for a son. This is a relationship that is tricky on its best day. Add in some well-meaning meddling from a mob princess sister, an arrogant DEA agent, and gangsters running a human trafficking ring and you have a recipe for a book that refuses to follow the rules. Told from the perspective and point of view of each the six main characters this is the first novel in a trilogy about love, loyalty, revenge and redemption.

Omaha Detective Tommy Gates has kept his gangster father at arm’s length his whole life. Mickey Downey has spent the better part of the last two decades trying to find ways to get back the son he lost through Witness Protection. Now Tommy has taken an opportunity to work on a Federal Human Trafficking Joint Task Force in Chicago where his father lives. Tommy’s sister Kiki and his mother Mary see this as an opportunity to build a relationship between the two. Tommy’s new DEA partner James Hoffman sees it as an opportunity to gain leverage over Mickey Downey. Tommy’s other partner, FBI Agent Ginny Sommers wants to keep Tommy’s family as far from the case as possible. When Kiki and James join forces, sparks fly and it sets fire to a maelstrom of unexpected consequences for everyone involved.

Amazon

A Construct of Angels by Andrew Toynbee

A Construct of AngelsAfter accidentally triggering the spontaneous resurrection of a dead student, an ordinarily routine day for York-based paramedic Sara Finn erupts into a series of events that propel her on a terrifying journey, promising to forever change her pragmatic opinions of life and death.

Still haunted by her domineering and abusive stepfather and driven by a life-long search for her missing younger brother, Sara finds herself caught in the crossfire between warring forces, powerful beyond human comprehension, that threaten to plunge civilisation into hellish chaos and eternal darkness.

This, the first in the ‘Angels of York’ series, follows Sara’s increasingly dangerous adventures during the six days that lead up to the September Equinox, a time of increasing darkness. As the population of York is plunged into panic, overwhelming the emergency services, Sara finds her loyalties torn between her newfound companion, now incarcerated within York’s largest mental institution, and her sworn medical duties.

Should she lend any credence to his insistence that his purpose on Earth is to prevent an imminent catastrophe? Or that it is being orchestrated from within the city itself?

As her nights are filled with terrifying dreams and she is once again confronted by the memories of her abusive childhood, Sara is forced to accept that only one avenue remains open to her – to put her own life to one side in order to help prevent the rapidly approaching doomsday.

Amazon ~ Amazon UK

Deer in the Headlights by Staci Hart

Deer in the Headlights

Sweary, Sexy 18+ Romance

How do the Greek gods kill time? Because they’re always bored. It’s an unavoidable downside of being alive for thousands of years. So, they play games. Games with human players. Remember Shakespeare? Yeah, that was Apollo. Bonnie and Clyde? Aphrodite vs Ares.

It’s Aphrodite’s turn once again in the rounds of competitions, and she’ll defend her domain: Love. She hasn’t lost a competition on her turf in over three millennia, and she’s not about to start now. Apollo is her first competitor, and he’s on a mission to win. If he wins, he’ll get a token; a favor that Aphrodite must fulfill. And with that favor, he’ll finally get the one woman he’s never been able to have.

Aphrodite and Apollo will choose their human players, and if Aphrodite can’t get them together before the clock runs out, Apollo will get his way. And she couldn’t have that.

Lex and Dean are perfect for each other. They just don’t know it yet.

Dean is a perpetual bachelor, and a man-whore. A brooding, gorgeous, rock star man-whore. Lex always has a boyfriend, but she’s never let anyone in enough to let herself go. Not really. Not ever. Aphrodite has her work cut out for her, but if she can’t make it work, no one can.

But she has more at stake than just Lex and Dean. Apollo killed her mortal love, and that beef has been dragging on for thousands of years. Ares, the douchebag, is forever trying to start a fight, and get Aphrodite into bed. And Persephone, her best friend, is the one person she can confide in, laugh with, and always count on for a healthy helping of bacon when she’s having a bad day.

Follow the gods as they fight, laugh, cry, lose love, and gain power. Making a mess with humans has never been so fun.

 Snake in the Grass by Staci Hart

Snake in the GrassIt’s Round Two of high stakes Love Connection on Olympus, and this time, everything has changed. For Aphrodite, at least.

Ares is on deck, and Aphrodite is nervous. As much as she loves to hook up with him, she doesn’t trust him as far as she could throw him, which isn’t very far. He’s a big dude. They haven’t been together in a very long time, but she can’t resist him. She never could. Even when every part of her screamed that he was a liar.

Ares has a plan to keep Aphrodite, for good this time. He wants to win the game, but he’ll hold back to get what he wants. He’s sitting on a chance that he’s been waiting thousands of years for, and he’ll do what he has to do to convince her to stay forever.

The only thing that could stop him is the secret that he’s been keeping from her for eons. If she finds out, it will destroy everything.

Kat and Dillon have been through a lot, and everything has been to protect their younger siblings. They have sacrificed everything to make sure their brother and sister are safe. The players are tough and loyal. Fierce and determined. But they become each other’s weakness, even though they fight it, and even though it means danger for Kat and her sister.

If Aphrodite can get the players over their egos and issues long enough to see that they’re meant for each other, the competition will be a piece of cake. One that she’ll eat a la mode, right in front of Ares, if she beats him.

Amazon ~ Smashwords

 What the Heart Wants by Staci Hart

What the Heart WantsIt’s 1984, and Tanaka Katsu is paving his way in the Yakuza. His marriage to Yuki was a business deal, and one that he has paid for with his happiness.

Aphrodite can’t stand that he’s so miserable, and Hera, the goddess of marriage and monogamy, has a strong hold on Yuki, who will do whatever it takes to get what she believes is hers. Aphrodite won’t sit by and watch Katsu’s life slip away with no chance at love, so when he takes a trip to Vegas, she’ll introduce him to his match.

Kim never thought she’d be in the situation like the one that’s coming her way, but what the heart wants is a powerful thing, and one that’s impossible to walk away from.

Amazon ~ Smashwords

Sales Saturday: Professionalism in the Workplace

You’re probably wondering how in the world “professionalism in the workplace” has anything to do with being an author, or publishing, but I assure you it does. It means even more if you’re indie. If you’re traditional, you have the robotic mechanics down–someone else is posting on your website, sometimes your blog, but either way there is a vetting process. When you’re indie there is one vetting process–YOU. What I’ve seen time and time again is the fact that some forget that this really is a career to some people. I’ve had fights with my husband about this very same thing–why do I have to post on a regular schedule on my blog, why do I have to spend 3-4 hours a week marketing, but he never questions the actually writing. He used to tell me it was a hobby–he doesn’t anymore. Maybe it’s because I actually started to sell enough that it constitutes more than a $20 per month stipend from Amazon–or maybe it’s because he’s seen how seriously I take this. I imagine this as my sole career, with a marketing company to help indies on the side, someday and thus, I must always think about presenting myself in a professional way.

The Author Workplace AKA the Internet

Part A) The Blog

It’s a soft line in the sand, professionalism VS. way too much information in the author world. Every author is told you need to have a blog, but the guidelines from there get very vague. What do I put on my blog–what do I say? How do I present myself? The presentation is where things tend to get a bit, let’s say, soggy. As an author you do want to let your readers get to know you. It makes everything about reading the books you write that much cooler. It makes you that much more human. I’ve learned after countless times of explaining my two part job–one as a Retail Banking Operations Manager and then as a published Author, that no matter how insignificant you feel in the publishing world, the second you say I’m published, people go nuts. Their eyes widen and they say “So you’re like famous?”. The other reason I get a jaw drop is because I apparently look like I’m eighteen, that being put aside, being able to say I’m published usually leads into the conversations about where they can find you. The best place is your blog–and that’s the last place you want to put information that say, your main employer could find, that’s unsavory, or as I’ve seen just a tad bit oddThe sogginess of the blog dilemma is knowing exactly where the line is that crosses from letting your readers get to know you, to just way too much information. I’m not going to lie, I’ve read things I just didn’t want to know about authors on their blogs, or that frankly, I just didn’t care about. You want what you convey on your blog to be of value to your readers, because you might find some of those readers are solely readers of your blog and not your novels. I’ve made several business contacts in the business world that I know follow my blog, but would never read my books–they enjoy the content of the blog, especially my Saturday ramblings about sales. So how do you determine what to post on your blog? Here are a few questions to ask yourself:

  • Would this fall under TMI to those who don’t know me?
  • Am I portraying myself the way I’d like to be seen?*
  • Does this add value to not only the readers of my novels, but the sole readers of my blog?
  • Does this make a person want to go out and buy my book? (This doesn’t always have to be yes, but if it pertains directly to your book, it should be yes)
  • Would I find this information useful or pertinent on someone else’s blog?
  • Would I be comfortable with my grandmother reading this?
  • Would I be comfortable with my employer reading this?**

*In thinking of portraying yourself you must also think about the content of your novels. I know several writers whose blogs are never serious, which is fine, but the question that occurs is–are your books jiving with the appearance that you are giving? If you are never serious on your blog, your books shouldn’t be serious either. The reason being, and some may disagree, that if you portray yourself as silly–then that is what the reader is going to believe your books will be. You create the image of your books by creating the “brand” of you as an author, so if your books are serious, but you never are, then your readers will end up confused. It will especially confuse those readers that have never read your novels, because you are the first stop on their impression of what that novel might be like.

**Yes, the big employer question. I’m not going to lie there are somethings I wouldn’t really want my employer to read on my blog–like the steamy excerpts, or the excerpts that contain swears, but there’s another line–one that’s harder to define. It isn’t really about professionalism in this case, because it’s a part of my job as an author to market my novel and it’s content. I would be doing an injustice to my readers if I let my stringent professionalism in my day job not allow my characters to swear! So there it is. My characters swear, and yes, they have sex, but I don’t think that’s a secret.

Part B) Facebook, Twitter, etc.

Ah, yes, the social media craze. I’d say that most social media follows the same general guidelines as your blog does. You want to ask yourself the same questions about each of your posts, and make sure that you are comfortable with your answers. There is, however, another very helpful hinter I can give you. I’m a part of an author group where an author got flamed by a parent who saw their daughter looking at their slightly provocative Facebook. The reason was that they didn’t have their settings in Facebook correct. Please, especially if you’re a New Adult or Adult author who posts pictures of half-naked promos, make sure these settings are correct.

Edit Page> Edit Settings> Age Restrictions

Edit Page> Edit Settings> Profanity Filter

Part C) Responding to Reviews

Now this, this, is a hot topic of debate across many boards. What do you do about nasty, unhelpful, ridiculous reviews? You LEAVE THEM BE. Do not respond. Do not attempt to delete them. Do not sit there and seethe like a child who just got their toy taken away.  DO NOT have a friend or family member respond. Move on and keep on moving. It is extremely unprofessional to respond to a review of this nature, even if you “try” to do so subjectively. The end game is, your book is your baby, and you can’t respond subjectively.  The most important part is that everyone is entitled to their opinion of your novel, and after some period of time you will get to the point where you see a bad review and you can laugh at it–not spitefully, but just in general, laugh. I finally got to that point, and boy, did it feel good! The other side of the coin is responding to good reviews. I’d say you can do this, it’s not unprofessional, but at some point you just won’t be able to anymore. I do a simple “like” on GoodReads and move on.

You’re a author, take it seriously, just like it were your day job. You represent the masses of authors that are Indie, and everything you say and do leaves an impression of how Indie authors are. Don’t be the bad apple that spoils the bunch.

If you’re indie, don’t forget to join the FBI!

indie author grab

Sales Saturday: Check-Points

Does anyone remember this little guy from my post back in January where I talked about Setting Goals? There were a few steps I mentioned in the process–Goals must have the following elements:

  • Specific
  • Challenging
  • Accepted
  • Feedback

We’ve come to a bit over the half-way point in the year, and thus we need to reach a Feedback check-point. It’s time to look at the goals and evaluate progress. I’m going to warn you–my life took an unexpected turn that I never expected, so here are the results:

Book Related:

  • Distribute 400 books this year between giveaways and real sales. Last year I distributed 240 books between InBS and WITS

Results: I’ve sold over 1000 books, SOLD them, this doesn’t include giveaways. With giveaways I’m looking at close to 1200 books. I’m still in shock, but as is natural with my personality, I WANT more. I NEED more. Watch out Colleen Hoover, I aim on being as successful as you.

  • Publish 3 novels. Last year I published 2. I have one set in stone to publish this month, and I would like to release one in the Summer and one in the Winter. Which ones they will be really depends on the development of what I am currently writing.

Results: I admit I got seriously side-tracked. I mean it. When I wrote that blog post I was working on Deadly Sins and hadn’t even thought up Love Exactly. Imagine that only 5 months later I’d published a novel I’d not even thought of yet, and it’s the one responsible for the 1000 book mark. I marketed that thing to an inch of my life. I poured everything I had into it, and the results speak for themselves. I hit #1 in Books on Dysfunctional Relationships. My pride begged me to keep it there, but I couldn’t once I looked at the other books on the list. They were true-stories, Love Exactly is fictional. Thus, I contacted Amazon and fixed the issue. I hated to see it drop from #1, but it wasn’t in the right playground. So I’ve got 2 novels down, one more to go to hit my goal. Can I do it? I hope so, but when I intended on getting back to Deadly Sins, I got side-tracked again with the newly named Flawed Perfection (Beautifully Broken, #1). Then the readers begged until I caved, and I announced Love Exactly would become Love Exactly (Sticks & Stones, #1).

  • Reach 250 followers on my blog. I am at 139 now, and that was since May.

Results: This is the most shocking bit to me…I now have 1400 followers. I exceeded my goal be even more than my sales goal, and each week I’m moving up by about 10%. Seriously, thank you guys. You’re amazing!

  • Have 4,000 views on my blog. This year I got 2,800 views since May.

Results: Again, I’ve exceeded my goal, and I am currently at 5871 views.

  • Reach 100 fans on Goodreads.

Results: I’ve reached 190.

  • Get some five stars, get some two stars, maybe some one stars: Stop reading every review and making myself feel like a bug pinned to a board. Reviews are important, but when they make you feel like less of a person, less of a writer, like an insect–it’s time to stop reading them. I’m also hoping I will get so many that I can’t read them all.

Results: EPIC FAIL. For the life of me I can’t stop reading them, but I’ll tell you this, even with the fact that Love Exactly is loosely based on my own experience, I feel more immune to it. I had a reviewer apologize because they thought Emma was all over the place, and they didn’t like her. I frowned, not because I was upset–Emma is much like me, and honestly, I am well aware there are people out there that don’t like me (you have a right to feel whatever way you wish)–but because she apologized. She owned it as her opinion, she explained why she didn’t like Emma. She has that right. Now I can even look at the review that made my blood boil–the one of InBS where the person told me I should rot in hell for writing it, and any one who liked it should join me, and I laugh. I think that shows some growth. Now that I say this I’m going to get a review that has me in tears–I just know it!

  • Design at least 10 book covers for myself and other authors.

Results: EPIC fail…or maybe not. Honestly, I haven’t had time to design them for anyone but myself, although I’ve had requests.

  • Get better at writing and marketing my book.

Results: Yeah, I’d say I’ve done that, but guess what–I will always be striving towards this goal. There is no way I will ever accomplish it completely.

  • Continue to post at least three times a week.

Results: I’d say I do this 85% of the time, that’s pretty good considering my current schedule.

  • Maybe, just maybe, make some money doing this.

Results: I might be able to payoff the “book credit card”. I have reached the threshold where I have to report the earnings on my taxes, and hire an accountant because they’ve become too complex between earnings and business costs.

  • Have a successful book reading.

Results: Errm…I had a successful signing, but I’ve moved away from readings. They just aren’t popular in my geographic area.

  • Inspire someone.

Results: I don’t know what the results of this are. Have I inspired anyone? Have I inspired you? Let me know 😉

Personal:

I can’t share all of these because anyone can view my website 😉

  • Receive my Associates Degree in Marketing.

Results: Not there yet, but my Financial Accounting books are here for me, and I’ve reached the half-way point in my degree.

  • Look into getting my Bachelors Degree.

Results: I’m not sure if and when I will look into this. Once I finish my degree I’d like to solely concentrate on getting out as many high quality books as possible. School does get in the way of this, so I might opt to see where being an author takes me.

  • Continue to expand my photography company Gio Design Studios–post at least once a month on there.

Results: EPIC fail, but again, I just haven’t had time. Photography is a fun side job for me–I’ll be leaving shortly to view a venue where I am doing a wedding. 🙂

  • Begin the process of converting the photography company into a publications marketing company (designing covers/back covers, advertisements, book trailers).

Results: The conversion is complete. The company now has two slogans and websites: Gio Design Studios, More Than Just Cameras and Cars–photography; Gio Design Studios, More Than Just a Book–book marketing.

  • Start to actually save some money.

Results: Fail, or not? I’m not sure. My husband and I hit troubled waters, more bills than money, but we’ve been there and done that. We’ve hit an impasse, and are now able to save money as of this month–I’ll explain the reason to this, which was something I didn’t want to post on here in January. I’d been looking for a new job that better utilized my skills, and would be a promotion. I got it, and the best part is, it’s at the company I’ve worked at for the past 5 years. I’m so happy that I was able to stay with the company as it grows and evolves. I went from an Assistant Branch Manager to Branch Administration, Retail Banking Operations Manager. THE best part is, although I’m working 42-45 hours a week, I actually love my high-stress, run, run job. It takes every part of the jobs I’ve held in the past that I loved and combines it into one job, with the added perks of being involved with our marketing department. It’s amazing. I’m still in shock that I got my dream job, and that it actually is what I wanted, for we all know the grass isn’t always greener! 😉

  • Be able to say that I’ve kept the weight off for two years.

Results: I’ve kept the weight off for OVER two years.

  • Try not to let people asking me if I eat bug me. Tell people to shove their sandwiches in their own mouths.

Results: My husband now asks me if I ate anything when I get home, but only because I’m go-go getter 🙂 Those that asked me if I was eating are no longer in the picture.

  • Get my In Between Seasons tattoo.

Results: Scratch that. I want a different one, and I’m sold on it. I’ve designed it, and I’d like it on my other wrist. My husband is dead set against it. 

  • Help my dog lose some weight, too.

Results: Bubski is at the perfect weight for his little ChuRussellness. (Chihuahua Jack Russell), and has been for about two months. The vet was thrilled! 🙂

  • Continue to work out three times a week.

Results: The new job has caused a need for adjustment in my schedule. I didn’t work out last week, but next week I’m setting a schedule that works with the new job, and I’m sticking to it.

  • Start taking my camera with my everywhere so that I stop feeling like I’ve missed that perfect shot.

Results: If I forget mine, Jeff usually has his, so I just steal it! 🙂 I also have a cell phone with a 13 megapixel camera!

  • Manage my time better.

Results: Husband says: No. I say YES, I published a book in under 5 months…start to finish!

So how are you doing with your goals?

Sales Saturday: Setting Goals

Here piggy, piggy! Here piggy, piggy!

Oh, the irony is that piggy bank looks like it has a boat load of money beneath it, but IT doesn’t. By my banking eye calculations it has about $30.00 max underneath it because it’s all dollar bills. Luckily, I probably made about twice that this year in book sales since May…That is unless you minus all the stuff I gave away as far as e-books, etc. Then I would probably have a piggy bank like this:

Last year I set out on a whim to self-publish. I got In Between Seasons out there and then after lots of hard work and sweat and finding mentors and lynch mobs, literary snobs, and literary elitists, and the fans (I have 46 fans on GR, and you know what? I only know 2 of them personally!!!) I published Walking in the Shadows, a much cleaner and better demonstration of my writing style, voice, and what I hope is skill. I also started to develop my own advertising and marketing prowess with what people either loved or hated for covers, and advertisements. The thing about my covers is, it’s something new, YA covers DON’T look like that. They have girls in fluffy dresses, hot shirtless guys and pretty girls sobbing, and more than half the time they HAVE nothing to do with the book–absolutely NOTHING. I don’t want to be like everyone else. Will some of my covers have pretty girls in dresses on them? Yes, but I’ll have taken the pictures, or my husband because I don’t know many people other than myself to put in them. Will they have shirtless guys on them? No, sorry, you can’t see my husband shirtless. 😉

Though, I am having a dilemma with the cover with my current work in progress…although, I do have a option floating around in my mind deviously…I think, if I can pull it off, it’s going to be awesome!

After all that I decided that I thoroughly despised medical coding and switched my degree to marketing, which I love, and I always have. I should have listened to my heart and not the imaginary dollar signs that were thrown at me. That was something else I learned in writing and publishing as well. If someone has a book called “how to make $46,000 a month selling your e-book” run the other way, if there is a book called “edit yourself into print” burn it. Those were the mistakes I am willing to admit I made with InBS. I listened too much to sources like that and didn’t go with my gut. I also lacked any sort of planning. I walked blindly into the world of publishing, and to be honest, I’m still stumbling–dealing with my own failure in the face of those that say they’ve done less, but they’ve sold more. Maybe they just have more friends than me, who knows. I’m going to keep trying. This year I’m going to use my business management skills, though. I’m stepping in more knowledgeable and applying those skills I’ve learned elsewhere. Along the way I’ll continue to share them with you on Sales Saturday, but mind you, don’t step forward with the advice unless you believe in it and you feel good about it.

Goal Setting

In business goal setting is a very important skill to have, especially when you own and operate your own business. I’ve seen so many blind goals thrown at people–one’s that say we want you to do this, but we aren’t going to tell you how. I’ve pretty much been thrown on my face for most of my business life. I’ve had to teach myself things and establish my own goals, and have devastated the goals set by others, but never met my own goals. I’ve seen the other side as well where the goals established by others are unbelievable in the fact they are not able to be accomplished–they devastate the person’s confidence before they even try.  The goal setting theory states that people are motivated by goals that they accept and are specific, challenging but not too much so, and they receive feedback and reinforcement. Being a writer, the feedback portion can be challenging. Why? Often times the feedback isn’t all that great–AKA the lynch mob. Other times it’s amazing–AKA the fans. Good reviews can be just as useless as bad ones though. The people giving the feedback–besides your editor and if you use a publisher, your publisher, are most likely not trained to give feedback. It’s all over the place and it lacks guidance checkpoints. You have to set your own goals as a business person and a writer, and although you aren’t setting them for someone else the same basic concepts can still be beneficial. Goals should be:

  • Specific: This will help you know what you want to accomplish it and let you chart how you plan on accomplishing it. The goal must be something that will satisfy your needs in your business.
  • Challenging: Don’t take this overboard–make a goal that is challenging but realistic. You don’t want to make a goal to sell 3 books a month if you already sell 3, but you don’t want to make the goal of selling 1000 either.
  • Accepted: Now this is more towards setting goals for others because they must accept the goals and understand them, but you should also accept your own goals–this ties directly with making it challenging. If you set the goal of 1000 when you sell 3 currently you are burning yourself out before you even begin.
  • Feedback: There should be a way for you to track your progress now compared to your progress in the past. A simple way to do this is to create an excel spreadsheet of your sales and track them weekly. This can act as a motivator to get you going and a way to realize your own accomplishments. I would say that one goal to not set is reviews because like I said they lack guidance checkpoints. They can help you to see if one book is better than another, but then again it’s an opinion so you could have all four or five stars and then get a few two stars that will plummet your overall score, while you can get mostly three stars and have the same balance of a score as the novel with mostly four or five stars.

So now that you have read all that you are probably wondering what my goals are for this year. Here they are:

Book Related:

  • Distribute 400 books this year between giveaways and real sales. Last year I distributed 240 books between InBS and WITS.
  • Publish 3 novels. Last year I published 2. I have one set in stone to publish this month, and I would like to release one in the Summer and one in the Winter. Which ones they will be really depends on the development of what I am currently writing.
  • Reach 250 followers on my blog. I am at 139 now, and that was since May.
  • Have 4,000 views on my blog. This year I got 2,800 views since May.
  • Reach 100 fans on Goodreads.
  • Get some five stars, get some two stars, maybe some one stars: Stop reading every review and making myself feel like a bug pinned to a board. Reviews are important, but when they make you feel like less of a person, less of a writer, like an insect–it’s time to stop reading them. I’m also hoping I will get so many that I can’t read them all.
  • Design at least 10 book covers for myself and other authors.
  • Get better at writing and marketing my book.
  • Continue to post at least three times a week.
  • Maybe, just maybe, make some money doing this.
  • Have a successful book reading.
  • Inspire someone.

Personal:

I can’t share all of these because anyone can view my website 😉

  • Receive my Associates Degree in Marketing.
  • Look into getting my Bachelors Degree.
  • Continue to expand my photography company Gio Design Studios–post at least once a month on there.
  • Begin the process of converting the photography company into a publications marketing company (designing covers/back covers, advertisements, book trailers).
  • Start to actually save some money.
  • Be able to say that I’ve kept the weight off for two years.
  • Try not to let people asking me if I eat bug me. Tell people to shove their sandwiches in their own mouths.
  • Get my In Between Seasons tattoo.
  • Help my dog lose some weight, too.
  • Continue to work out three times a week.
  • Start taking my camera with my everywhere so that I stop feeling like I’ve missed that perfect shot.
  • Manage my time better.

What are your goals? Are they specific and challenging? Did this post help you at all?